Metadata Guidance

What metadata do I need in order to publish my research data?

Good quality metadata of research data can help:

  1. Data Creators to share their data with others, maximise reach, receive credits when the data are cited and understand their data better when reused in the future
  2. Data Users to discover, evaluate and reuse created data

Information provided by Data Creators should address both discovery metadata (allowing Data Users to find the data) and contextual metadata (allowing Data Users to reuse the data).

The following quality metadata enable the Data Centre to publish research data in a discoverable and reusable way.


Quality metadata for research data:

  • What the dataset comprises and Why was the work undertaken
    • title
    • short description
    • keywords
    • data type, volume, structure and format (preferably non-proprietary)
  • Where was the dataset collected
    • geo-location
    • depth
    • altitude
    • site name
  • When was the dataset collected, when will it be made available and what restrictions on use the dataset has
    • collection date
    • access constraints
    • use constraints
  • Who has created the dataset and who funded the work
    • full name, affiliation and ORCID* of authors and contact person
    • funding reference
  • How was the dataset created, analysed and quality assessed
    • instrumentation and/or software (including version)
    • methodology
    • quality control and data resolution
  • Contextual metadata enabling to better evaluate and reuse the dataset, such as specification of measured parameters with their units, explanation of abbreviations, references to associated publications and projects.